With more than 7,000 breweries operating in America, it’s hard to imagine a flavor or style of beer that at least one brewery hasn’t attempted. This year’s Great American Beer Festival—which took place in Denver last week—showcased everything from a taco-inspired gose (from WeldWerks Brewing) to an Oyster Jalapeno Porter (Bull Island Brewing) to a Tiramisu Blonde Ale (from Short’s Brewing).
Those were the exceptions, of course. Most breweries’ tap lists are still dominated by recognizable beer styles like IPAs and wheat beers. So I asked some of the brewers in attendance: What beer style do you wish more breweries brewed? Shockingly, not all of them said pilsners.
“I’d like to focus on some clear IPAs. Let’s get back to our basics—not the late-90s super bitter, smash-your-palate IPAs, but more easy-drinking, clear traditional Americans IPAs.” —Trevor Redding, Bent Barley Brewing in Aurora, Colorado
“Classic pale ales. Everyone’s gotten into the juicy/hazy craze, but classic pale ales have died out. I see a renaissance coming for some of the more classic styles making a resurgence in the next couple of years.” —Brandon Evans, CottonTown Brew Lab in Columbia, South in Carolina
“ESBs. Not a lot of ESBs out there. There was a beer I saw out here that was called something-something ESB—and it’s an amber ale. But actual ESBs are delicious.” —Devon Larrance, Middle Coast Brewing in Traverse City, Michigan
“Good IPAs? Good being bolded, there.” —Nick Walker, Ology Brewing Company in Tallahassee, Florida
“Berliner weisse. It’s probably one of my favorite styles, and I think we did a really good job with ours, but if everyone else brewed one, it would be a beautiful world.” —Taylor Witt, Stone Brewing
“More lagers. I think we’re circling back to them, as some of us are just hopped out.” —Tony Cunha, MudHen Brewing in Wildwood, New Jersey
“Black IPAs. I miss those.” —Loretta Garcia, Künstler Brewing in San Antonio, Texas
“Stouts or porters. I think the dark beers are overlooked; right now, everyone’s going for the hazy [IPAs], but I appreciate a good American stout.” —Travis Goslar, Steel Bender Brewyard in Albuquerque, New Mexico
“For my own consumption? Pilsner. Selfishly, if someone asked me what I want to consume more of in my day-to-day, it’s pilsner.” —Jared Rouben, Moody Tongue Brewing Company in Chicago